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Keep your thoughts within your own breast till you come to the person concerned.
7. Tell every one under your care what you think wrong in his conduct and temper, and that lovingly and plainly as soon as may be: else it will fester in your heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom.
8. Avoid all affectation. A preacher of the Gospel is the servant of all.
9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin.
10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them; not for wrath, but conscience sake.
11. You have nothing to do but to save souls: therefore spend and be spent in this work; and go always not only to those that want you, but to those that want you most.
Observe! it is not your business only to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society, but to save as many as you can; to bring as many sinners as you can to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in that holiness without which they cannot see the Lord. And re member! a Methodist preacher is to mind every point, great and small, in the Meth
odist Discipline! Therefore you will need to exercise all the sense and grace you have,
12. Act in all things not according to your own will, but as a son in the Gospel. As such, it is your duty to employ your time in the manner in which we direct: in preaching, and visiting from house to house; in reading, meditation, and prayer. Above all, if you labor with us in the Lord's vineyard, it is needful you should do that part of the work which we advise, at those times and places which we judge most for his glory.
Quest. 2. Are there any smaller advices which might be of use to us?
Answ. Perhaps these : 1. Be sure never to disappoint a congregation, 2. Begin at the time appointed. 3. Let your whole deportment be serious, weighty, and solemn. 4. Always suit your subject to your audi
5. Choose the plainest text you can. 6. Take care not to ramble, but keep to your text, and make out what you take in hand. 7. Take care of anything awkward or affected, either in your gesture, phrase, or pronunciation. 8. Do not usually pray extempore above eight or ten minutes (at most) without intermission. 9. Frequently read and enlarge upon a portion
of Scripture; and let young preachers often exhort without taking a text. 10. Always avail yourself of the great festivals, by preaching on the occasion.
The Duty of Preachers to God, themselves,
and one another. Quest. 1. What is the duty of a Preacher? Answ. 1. To preach. 2. To meet the societies and classes. 3. To visit the sick.
4. To preach in the morning where he can get hearers. We recommend morning preaching at five o'clock in the summer, and six in the winter, wherever it is practicable.
Quest. 2. How shall a Preacher be qualified for his charge ?
Answ. By walking closely with God, and having his work greatly at heart; and by understanding and loving discipline, ours in particular.
Quest. 3. Do we sufficiently watch over each other?
Answ. We do not. Should we not fre quently ask each other, Do you walk closely with God ? Have you now fellowship with the Father and the Son? At what hour do you rise? Do you punctually observe the morning and evening hours of retirement? Do you spend the day in the manner which the Conference advises ? Do you converse seriously, usefully, and closely? To be more particular: Do you use all the means of grace yourself, and enforce the use of them on all other persons ? They are either instituted or prudential.
I. The instituted are,
1. Prayer: private, family, and public; consisting of deprecation, petition, interæssion, and thanksgiving. Do you use each of these? Do you forecast daily, wherever you are, to secure time for private devotion? Do you practice it everywhere? Do you ask everywhere, Have you family prayer? Do you ask individuals, Do you use private prayer, every morning and evening in particular?
2. Searching the Scriptures, by
(1.) Reading : constantly, some part of every day; regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with notes; seriously, with prayer before and after; fruitfully, immediately practicing what you learn there?
(2.) Meditating: At set times ? By rule?
(3.) Hearing: Every opportunity ? With prayer before, at, after? Have you a Bible always about you?
3. The Lord's Supper: Do you use this at every opportunity ? With solemn prayer before? With earnest and deliberate self-devotion ?
4. Fasting : Do you use as much abstinence and fasting every week as your health, strength, and labor will permit.
5. Christian conference: Are you convinced how important and how difficult it is to order your conversation aright? Is it always in grace? Seasoned with salt? Meet to minister grace to the hearers ? Do you not converse too long at a time? Is not an hour commonly enough ? Would it not be well always to have a determined end in view ? And to pray before and after it?
II. Prudential means we may use either as Christians, as Methodists, or as Preach
1. As Christians : What particular rules have you in order to grow in grace? What arts of holy living ?
2. As Methodists: Do you never miss
your class ?